Our faculty are highly skilled and motivated professionals. We will equip students with basic knowledge in the Biomedical Sciences and skills upon which they will build in the Clinical Sciences to help them become well-rounded Physicians who will provide leadership in the healthcare sector in the East African region as well as globally. Through our well-honed teaching, we intend to turn these young undergraduates into lifelong learners. Our faculty also engage in research and students will be exposed early to the rudiments of research during their time with us.
In line with the AKU philosophy of early exposure to clinical training, our students will also be taught by Clinical faculty from the relevant specialties such as Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology as well as Surgery to complement the core faculty in Biomedical Sciences.
Professor Simiat O. Elias BSc (Hons), MSc, MBChB, MPH, PhD
Professor of Physiology & Founding Chair
Professor Simiat Elias is a highly accomplished academic with extensive experience in the field of Physiology and Medical Education. She holds a BSc (Hons), MSc in Physiology form the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Thereafter, she obtained an MBChB degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, and an MPH from Lagos State University. She later received her PhD in Physiology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
As the Founding Chair of the department, Professor Elias is responsible for establishing the necessary structures to implement the integrated curriculum in Biomedical Sciences. She also oversees the day-to-day administration of the department, ensuring the successful launch of the new MBChB program at Aga Khan University Medical College, East Africa.
Prior to joining AKU in March 2023, Professor Elias held various positions at Lagos State University College of Medicine, starting as a Lecturer II in February 2000 and eventually rising to the rank of full Professor in October 2020. She served as Acting Head of her department at different times and full Chair of the Department from October 2020 till September 2021 when she was appointed Director of the Centre for General Nigerian Studies (CGNS). As Director of CGNS, she played a pivotal role, in overseeing the comprehensive training of all Lagos State University undergraduate students in the four GNS courses approved by the Nigerian Universities Commission.
Additionally, Professor Elias has held the position of Inaugural Vice President of the Society for Medical Physiology of Nigeria (SMPN) and served as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of SMPN's peer-reviewed journal, Annals of Translational Physiology. She also served as the Editor-in-Chief of LASU Journal of Biomedical Sciences from 2020 to 2022.
With more than 23 years of experience in academia, Professor Elias has played a pivotal role in training Medical and Dental students, Nursing students, and other allied professionals. She has supervised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of Physiology. Her primary research focus lies in the determinants and course of Salt-sensitive hypertension and investigating the impact of various diseases on the cardiovascular system. Additionally, she has a keen interest in Medical Education and the Ethics of Biomedical Research.
Professor Elias is a member of many professional bodies including the Physiological Society of Nigeria (PSN), The Physiological Society (TPS) of Britain/ROI; the American physiological Society (APS), African Association of Physiological Sciences (AAPS), International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) and now, East African Association of Physiological Sciences (EASPS). Since October 2022, Professor Elias has served as the Co-chair of the Board of General Assembly (BGA) of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, representing over 60 adhering national and regional Physiological bodies globally. She previously served as an elected member representing Africa on the same board from 2017 to 2022.
Dr Beda O. Olabu BSc (Hons), MBChB, MSc MMed
Unit Lead, Human Anatomy
Dr Beda Olabu is an Assistant Professor and Human Anatomist with vast experience in teaching and research on Human Gross Anatomy, Histology and Embryology. He is a holder of a BSc in Human Anatomy, MBChB, a Master of Science in Human Anatomy and a Master of Medicine in Diagnostic Radiology. He is a renowned Human Anatomy teacher both locally and in the international virtual space. He has over 90 peer-reviewed publications.
Prior to joining Aga Khan University, Dr. Olabu was the Human Anatomy course coordinator for MBChB and Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students in the Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, University of Nairobi. He was also a part-time faculty in Daystar University, AMREF International University, Kirinyaga University and Kenyatta University. He is well known for his YouTube online Human Anatomy content that is used by many undergraduate and postgraduate health science students who have Human Anatomy in their curriculum.
Other than teaching and research in Human Anatomy, Dr. Beda Olabu is passionate about student mentorship and has mentored many students throughout his career.
Dr Olabu is a member of the Anatomical Society of Kenya, Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Kenya Association of Radiologists (KAR), Christian Medical & Dental Association of Kenya (CMDA-K) and the International Christian Medical & Dental Association (ICMDA).
Dr Carolyn W. Muruthi, PhD
Unit Lead, Medical Biochemistry
Dr Carolyn Muruthi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, a Master of Science degree in Medical Biochemistry and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry all from Kenyatta University, Kenya. She has over 5 years of experience in teaching and evaluating students in Biochemistry. In addition, she has participated in the planning, designing and developing relevant teaching materials in the discipline. She has a strong research interest in Medical Biochemistry, specifically Molecular Oncology, and exploring potential therapies for economically important diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and neurogenerative diseases. She has published in peer-reviewed journals that are indexed in reputable databases such as PubMed and Scopus.
Dr Muruthi is a recipient of various research grants including the National Council of Science and Technology (NACOSTI, Kenya) in Phenotypic and Molecular Characterization of Hard Zoonoses Ticks and the National Research Fund (NRF-Kenya) in Anti-Cancer Effects of Medicinal Plants in Kenya. She has also been involved in various research initiatives with Kenyatta University and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). She is a member of the Integrated Cancer Research Foundation (ICRF) and the Society of Research in Biomedical Sciences (SRBS).